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24 Sep 2007 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 24 Sep 2007
  • Release Date: 24 Sep 2007
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: (C) 2007 Joni Mitchell, Under exclusive license to StarCon,LLC d/b/a Hear Music
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 46:42
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,367 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Herman Norford on 13 Oct 2007
Format: Audio CD
Shine is the long awaited Joni Mitchell LP. In terms of anticipating what was to come from Joni, there is one surprise. The surprise is that on this LP there is no inward looking at self. Instead, Joni turns her attention to the environment, the misuse of science, the politics of selfishness, and domination through war. With only ten tracks on the LP, it was bound to be an ambitious task to address these huge issues satisfactorily.

The stance that Joni is going to take towards the themes of the LP is set out from the beginning with the 4 minutes and 58 seconds instrumental piece, "One Week Last Summer". In a brief explanation of the inspiration behind the piece Joni, in an oblique manner, outlines her stance on the the themes the LP raises. But this is not to suggest that there are hiden aims on this LP. On the contrary, in the main Joni is direct and to the point. She is critical of modern society and this is nowhere more telling than in "Bad Dreams". In this song Joni delivers some harsh words - for example, "The cell phone zombies babble/Through the shopping malls/While condors fall from Indian skies/Whales beach and die in the sand".

The suggestion that the songs on this LP represents Joni's stance about the environment is underpinned by the fact that Joni does a lot on the LP. The music is composed, arranged and produced by her. The lyrics are composed by her except for "If" and she plays many of the instruments. One could not help but wonder if Joni was showing off her considerable talents or keeping down production costs.

Certainly, Joni's talents extend to ambitious daring. The reprise of "Big Yellow Taxi" on this LP is quite apt. It fits in with Joni's evironmental concerns.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By C. O'Brien VINE VOICE on 3 Oct 2007
Format: Audio CD
A while back, Joni Mitchell announced her retirement. She'd found and become reconciled with the long-lost daughter she'd given up for adoption in the 60s, and had no more need to run the gauntlet of a corrupt music industry for the sake of writing songs. The composer of "Both Sides Now", "Woodstock" and "Hejira" fell silent.

However, her seclusion didn't last. As she told a recent interviewer, ""I tried to keep my legs crossed, but it didn't work." Enter an unlikely ally in the form of multinational coffee chain Starbucks, whose Hear Music label has recently tempted other ancient luminaries such as Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan into signing new album deals. The result is Shine, the delayed follow-up to 1998's "Taming the Tiger".

The album begins wordlessly. "One Week Last Summer" is an instrumental evocation of a numinous time when "the piano beckoned for the first time in ten years". But when the songs proper begin, Mitchell's words can still bite - "money makes the trees come down/it turns mountains into molehills".

There's little of the old romantic confessional in these songs of later life. Instead, she's decided to "put some time into ecology", as she hinted she might so long ago in 1976's "Song For Sharon". Like the wordless movie Koyaanasqatsi, "Shine" is a chronicle of a world out of balance: a world where technology threatens to vanquish nature, where "cellphone zombies babble through the shopping malls", where we are all but consumed in "the jaws of our machines". For Mitchell, we live on a planet we are slowly poisoning, and in "Bad Dreams" she expresses her deepening disgust in the vocabulary of a modern plague: "we live in these electric scabs, these lesions once were lakes".
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By D. Richens on 25 Sep 2007
Format: Audio CD
The sparse, poetic, beautiful 'Shine' is Joni Mitchell's first album of new songs in almost a decade, and it does not disappoint.

Lyrically she is, as always, completely self-assured, the new songs ranking alongside such mid-1970's classics as 'Court and Spark' and 'Hejira', although the themes are very different; most of the songs here focus on environmental and political issues rather than the search for love. One of my favourite lyrics is from the title track:

'Shine on the pioneers
Those seekers of mental health
Craving simplicity
They travelled inward
Past themselves'-

Brilliant, and pure Joni.

Musically 'Shine' is a much sparser affair than anything we have seen from her in the 1980's and 1990's; most of the songs feature Joni herself on piano (and occasionally guitar), with ex-husband Larry Klein on bass and Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar. The result is that listening to the album is a much more intimate affair than anything she has done since her mid-1970's heyday.

'Shine' is a testimony to Joni Mitchell's unparelleled songwriting ability, and shows that she has certainly not run out of things to say. It sure is good to have her back.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. D. Nunn on 19 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am certainly a fan of Joni Mitchell's work, and I have not reviewed this CD until some years after its release because, honestly, I found it difficult to articulate what's gone wrong on 'Shine'. Oddly it was the release of Kate Bush's 'Director's Cut' that clarified the very fundamental problem running across every track here. 'Shine' is an album very much in need of a producer.

It's fine for Joni Mitchell to publically air her almost certainly legitimate grievances against the music industry. Logically it makes sense that the solution is for her to have full autonomy, absolute control over all aspects of her creativity. The problem is the end product sounds like a demo. I am amazed that the instrumental track opening 'One Week Last Summer' got an award, and the only explanation I have is that there must be a serious dearth of music ...

I've no doubt that if anyone even notices this belated review, it will garner ample 'unhelpful' responses from a hardcore fanbase. But this is to miss the point: Joni Mitchell really grew as an artist when she collaborated ... Hejira, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter - these are not by any stretch of the imagination wholly solo efforts.

I genuinely think the conclusion we can reach after listening to 'Shine' is that Joni Mitchell is, in no small way, a musician's musician and that, alone, something's lost and little's gained.

Suffice to say this is not to suggest that I wish the hell of the Thomas Dolby/Geffen years upon her. Far from it. Unlikely though it is, I would like to think that she might one day revisist this album - especially the title track - in collaboration with some likeminded souls.
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